Complex composite sentence

The problems as the types of sentences in English, their classification, the problem of composite sentences. Sentences with only one predication and with more than one predication: simple and composite sentence. Types of sentences according to structure.

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1. The Sentence

2. Classification of Sentences

3. The Composite Sentence

4. Compound Sentence

5. Complex Sentence

6. Types of Subordinate Clauses




The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Types of Sentences». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper.

Sentences with only one predication are called simple sentences. Those with more than one predication have usually no general name. We shall call them composite sentences.

In a composite sentence each predication together with the words attached is called a clause.

Composite sentences with coordinated clauses are compound sentences.

She's a very faithful creature and I trust her. (Cronin).

Composite sentences containing subordinated clauses are complex sentences.

If I let this chance slip, I'm a fool. (Cronin).

In a complex sentence we distinguish the principal clause (I'm a fool) and the subordinate clause (If I let this chance slip) or clauses.

Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work

1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «sentence».

2. The second task is to give the classification of sentences in English.

3. The last task of my work is to characterize types of composite sentences.

In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.

The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:

1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English verbs.

2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.

3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.

After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:

My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part we gave the brief description of our course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as the types of sentences in English, their classification, the problem of composite sentences and etc. In the conclusion to our work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part we mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.

1. The Sentence

The notion of sentence has not so far received a satisfactory definition, which would enable us by applying it in every particular case to find out whether a certain linguistic unit was a sentence or not.

Thus, for example, the question remains undecided whether such shop notices as Book Shop and such book titles as English are sentences or not. In favour of the view that they are sentences the following consideration can be brought forward. The notice Book Shop and the title English Grammar mean 'This is a book shop', 'This is an English Grammar'; the phrase is interpreted as the predicative of a sentence whose subject and link verb have been omitted, that is, it is apprehended as a unit of communication. According to the other possible view, such notices as Book Shop and such titles as English Grammar are not units of communication at all, but units of nomination, merely appended to the object they denote. Since there is as yet no definition of a sentence which would enable us to decide this question, it depends on everyone's subjective view which alternative he prefers. We will prefer the view that such notices and book titles are not sentences but rather nomination units.

We also mention here a special case. Some novels have titles formulated as sentences, e. g. The Stars Look Down, by A. Cronin, or They Came to a City, by J.B. Priestley. These are certainly sentences, but they are used as nomination units, for instance, Have you read The Stars Look Down? Do you like They Came to a City?

With the rise of modern ideas of paradigmatic syntax yet another problem concerning definition of sentence has to be considered.

In paradigmatic syntax, such units as He has arrived, He has not arrived, Has he arrived, He will arrive, He will not arrive, Will he arrive, etc., are treated as different forms of the same sentence, just as arrives, has arrived, will arrive etc., are different forms of the same verb. We may call this view of the sentence the paradigmatic view.

Now from the point of view of communication, He has arrived and He has not arrived are different sentences since they convey different information (indeed, the meaning of the one flatly contradicts that of the other).

2. Classification of Sentences

The problem of classification of sentences is a highly complicated one, and we will first consider the question of the principles of classification, and of the notions on which it can be based.

Let us begin by comparing a few sentences differing from each other in some respect. Take, for example, the following two sentences:

(1) But why did you leave England? (GALSWORTHY)

(2) There are to-day more people writing extremely well, in all departments of life, than ever before; what we have to do is to sharpen our judgement and pick these out from the still larger number who write extremely badly. (CRUMP)

Everyone will see that the two sentences are basically different. This is true, but very general and not grammatically exact. In order to arrive at a strictly grammatical statement of the difference (or differences) between them we must apply more exact methods of observation and analysis.

Let us, then, proceed to a careful observation of the features which constitute the difference between the two sentences.

1. The first sentence expresses a question, that is the speaker expects an answer which will supply the information he wants. The second sentence expresses a statement, that is, the author (or speaker) states his opinion on a certain subject. He does not ask about anything, or expect anybody to supply him any information. This difference is expressed in writing by the first sentence having a question mark at the end, while the second sentence has a full stop.

2. The first sentence is addressed to a certain hearer (or a few hearers present), and is meant to provoke the hearer's reaction (answer). The second sentence is not addressed to any particular person or persons and the author does not know how anybody will react to it.

3. The two sentences differ greatly in length: the first consists of only 6 words, while the second has 39.

4. The first sentence has no punctuation marks within it, while the second has two commas and a semicolon.

5. The first sentence has only one finite verb (did… leave), while the second has three (are, have, write).

These would seem to be some essential points of difference. We have riot yet found out which of them are really relevant from a grammatical viewpoint. We have not included in the above list those which are quite obviously irrelevant from that viewpoint; for example, the first sentence contains a proper name (England), while the second does not contain any, or, the second sentence contains a possessive pronoun (our) while the first does not, etc.

Let us now consider each of the five points of difference and see which of them are relevant from a purely grammatical point of view, for a classification of sentences.

Point 1 states a difference in the types of thought expressed in the two sentences. Without going into details of logical analysis, we can merely say that a question (as in the first sentence), and a proposition (as in the second) are different types of thought, in the logical acceptation of that term. The problem now is, whether this difference is or is not of any importance from the grammatical viewpoint. In Modern English sentences expressing questions (we will call them, as is usually done, interrogative sentences) have some characteristic grammatical features. These features are, in the first place, a specific word order in most cases (predicate - subject), as against the order subject - predicate in sentences expressing, propositions (declarative sentences). Thus word order may, with some reservations, be considered as a feature distinguishing this particular type of sentence from others. Another grammatical feature characterizing interrogative sentences (again, with some reservations) is the structure of the predicate verb, namely its analytical form «do + infinitive» (in our first sentence, did., leave…, not left), where in a declarative sentence there would be the simple form (without do). However, this feature is not restricted to interrogative sentences: as is well known, it also characterizes negative sentences. Anyhow, we can (always with some reservations) assume that word order and the form «do + infinitive» are grammatical features characterizing interrogative sentences, and in so far the first item of our list appears to be grammatically relevant. We will, accordingly, accept the types «interrogative sentence» and «declarative sentence» as grammatical types of sentences.

Point 2, treating of a difference between a sentence addressed to a definite hearer (or reader) and a sentence free from such limitation, appears not to be grammatical, important as it may be from other points of view. Accordingly, we will not include this distinction among grammatical features of sentences.

Point 3, showing a difference in the length of the sentences, namely in the number of words making up each of them, does not in itself constitute a grammatical feature, though it may be more remotely connected with grammatical distinctions.

Point 4 bears a close relation to grammatical peculiarities; more especially, a semicolon would be hardly possible in certain types of sentences (so-called simple sentences). But punctuation marks within a sentence are not in themselves grammatical features: they are rather a consequence of grammatical features whose essence is to be looked for elsewhere.

Point 5, on the contrary, is very important from a grammatical viewpoint. Indeed the number of finite verbs in a sentence is one of its main grammatical features. In this particular instance it should be noted that each of the three finite verbs has its own noun or pronoun belonging to it and expressing the doer of the action denoted by the verb: are has the noun people, have the pronoun we, and write the pronoun who. These are sure signs of the sentence being composite, not simple. Thus we will adopt the distinction between simple and composite sentences as a distinction between two grammatical types.

The items we have established as a result of comparing the two sentences given earlier certainly do not exhaust all the possible grammatical features a sentence can be shown to possess. They were only meant to illustrate the method to be applied if a reasonable grammatical classification of sentences is to be achieved. If we were to take another pair or other pairs of sentences and proceed to compare them in a similar way we should arrive at some more grammatical distinctions which have to be taken into account in making up a classification. We will not give any more examples but we will take up the grammatical classification of sentences in a systematic way.

It is evident that there are two principles of classification. Applying one of them, we obtain a classification into declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences. We can call this principle that of «types of communication».

The other classification is according to structure. Here we state two main types: simple sentences and composite sentences. We will not now go into the question of a further subdivision of composite sentences, or into the question of possible intermediate types between simple and composite ones. These questions will be treated later on (see pages 200 and 254 respectively). Meanwhile, then, we get the following results:

Types of Sentences According to Types of Communication

(1) Declarative

(2) Interrogative

(3) Imperative

Sentences belonging to the several types differ from each other in some grammatical points, too. Thus, interrogative sentences are characterized by a special word order. In interrogative sentences very few modal words are used, as the meanings of some modal words are incompatible with the meaning of an interrogative sentence. It is clear that modal words expressing full certainty, such as certainly, surely, naturally, etc., cannot appear in a sentence expressing a question. On the other hand, the modal word indeed, with its peculiar shades of meaning, is quite possible in interrogative sentences, for instance, Isn't so indeed? (SHAKESPEARE)

There are also sentences which might be termed semi-interrogative. The third sentence in the following passage belongs to this type:

«Well, I daresay that's more revealing about poor George than you. At any rate, he seems to have survived it.» «Oh, you've seen him?» She did not particularly mark her question for an answer, but it was, after all, the pivot-point, and Bone found himself replying - that indeed he had. (BUECHNER) The sentence Oh, you've seen him? is half-way between the affirmative declarative sentence, You have seen him, and the interrogative sentence, Have you seen him? Let us proceed to find out the precise characteristics of the sentence in the text as against the two sentences just given for the sake of comparison. From the syntactical viewpoint, the sentence is declarative, as the mutual position of subject and predicate is, you have seen, not have you seen, which would be the interrogative order. In what way or ways does it, then, differ from a usual declarative sentence? That is where the question of the intonation comes in. Whether the question mark at the end of the sentence does or does not mean that the intonation is not that typical of a declarative sentence, is hard to tell, though it would rather seem that it does. To be certain about this a phonetic experiment should be undertaken, but in this particular case the author gives a context which itself goes some way toward settling the question. The author's words, She did not particularly mark tier question for an answer, seem to refer to the intonation with which it was pronounced: the intonation must not have been clearly interrogative, that is not clearly rising, though it must have differed from the regular falling intonation to some extent: if it had not been at all different, the sentence could not have been termed a «question», and the author does call it a question. Reacting to this semi-interrogative intonation, Bone (the man to whom the question was addressed) answered in the affirmative. It seems the best way, on the whole, to term such sentences semi-interrogative. Their purpose of course is to utter a somewhat hesitating statement and to expect the other person to confirm it.

Imperative sentences also show marked peculiarities in the use of modal words. It is quite evident, for example, that modal words expressing possibility, such as perhaps, maybe, possibly, are incompatible with the notion of order or request. Indeed, modal words are hardly used at all in imperative sentences.

The notion of exclamatory sentences and their relation to the three established types of declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences presents some difficulty. It would seem that the best way to deal with it is this. On the one hand, every sentence, whether narrative, interrogative, or imperative, may be exclamatory at the same time, that is, it may convey the speaker's feelings and be characterized by emphatic intonation and by an exclamation mark in writing. This may be seen in the following examples: But he can't do anything to you! (R. WEST) What can he possibly do to you! (Idem) Scarlett, spare me! (M. MITCHELL)

On the other hand, a sentence may be purely exclamatory, that is, it may not belong to any of the three types classed above. This would be the case in the following examples: «Well, fiddle-dee-dee!» said Scarlett. (M. MITCHELL) Oh, for God's sake, Henry! (Idem)

However, it would perhaps be better to use different terms for sentences which are purely exclamatory, and thus constitute a special type, and those which add an emotional element to their basic quality, which is either declarative, or interrogative, or imperative. If this view is endorsed, we should have our classification of sentences according to type of communication thus modified:

(1) Declarative (including emotional ones)

(2) Interrogative (including emotional ones)

(3) Imperative (including emotional ones)

(4) Exclamatory

This view would avoid the awkward contradiction of exclamatory sentences constituting a special type and belonging to the first three types at the same time.

Types of Sentences According to Structure

(1) Simple

(2) Composite

The relations between the two classifications should now be considered.

It is plain that a simple sentence can be either declarative, or interrogative, or imperative. But things are somewhat more complicated with reference to composite sentences. If both (or all) clauses making up a composite sentence are declarative, the composite sentence as a whole is of course declarative too. And so it is bound to be in every case when both (or all) clauses making a composite sentence belong to the same type of communication (that is the case in an overwhelming majority of examples). Sometimes, however, composite sentences are found which consist of clauses belonging to different types of communication. Here it will sometimes he impossible to say to what type of communication the composite sentence as a whole belongs. We will take up this question when we come to the composite sentence.

Some other questions connected with the mutual relation of the two classifications will be considered as we proceed.

3. The Composite Sentence

Composite sentences, as we know divide into compound and complex sentences. The difference between them is not only in the relations of coordination or subordination, as usually stated. It is also important to know what is coordinated or subordinated. In compound sentences the whole clauses are coordinated, together with their predications.

In complex sentences a clause is mostly subordinated not to the whole principal clause but to some word in it which may be regarded as its head-word. In I know where he lives the subordinate clause is an adjunct of the objective verb know. In I know the place where he lives the subordinate clause is the adjunct of the noun place. In The important thing is where he lives the subordinate clause is an adjunct of the link-verb is. The only exception is the subordinate clause in a sentence like Where he lives is unknown in which it functions as the subject.

These peculiarities of compound and complex sentences may account for the difference in their treatment. The clauses of compound sentences are often regarded as independent. Some linguists are even of the opinion that compound sentences are merely sequences of simple sentences, combinations of sentences. x The clauses of a complex sentence, on the contrary, are often treated as forming a unity, a simple sentence in which some part is replaced by a clause a. Such extreme views are, to our mind, not quite justified, especially if we take into consideration that the border lines between coordination (parataxis) and subordination (hypotaxis are fluid. A clause may be introduced by a typical subordinating conjunction and yet its connection with the principal clause is so loose that it can hardly be regarded as a subordinate clause at all.

Cf. I met John, who told me (= and he told me) the big news.

Or, conversely, a coordinating conjunction may express relations typical of subordination.

E.g. You must interfere now; for (cf. because) they are getting quite beyond me. (Shaw).

As already noted, the demarcation line between a compound sentence and a combination of sentences, as well as that between compound words and combinations of words, is somewhat vague. Yet, the' majority of compound words and compound sentences are established in the language system as definite units with definite structures. Besides, a similar vagueness can be-observed with regard to the demarcation line between complex sentences and combinations of sentences.

E. g. They are not people, but types. Which makes it difficult for the actors to present them convincingly. (D.W.).

Though coordinating conjunctions may be found to connect independent sentences, they are in an overwhelming majority of cases used to connect clauses.

As to the asyndetically connection of clauses, it is found both in compound and in complex sentences. In either case the relations between the clauses resemble those expressed by the corresponding conjunctions.

E.g. They had a little quarrel, he soon forgot. (London). Here the asyndeton might be replaced by which or but.

Semantically the clauses of a compound sentence are usually connected more closely than independent sentences. These relations may be reduced to a few typical cases that can be listed.

The order of clauses within a compound sentence is often more rigid than in complex sentences. He came at six and we had dinner together, (the place of the coordinate clauses cannot be changed without impairing the sense of the sentence).

Cf. If she wanted to do anything better she must have a great deal more. (Dreiser). She must have a great deal more if she wanted to do anything better.

Especially close is the connection of the coordinate clauses in a case like this.

He expected no answer, and a dull one would have been reproved. (Dreiser).

The prop-word one is an additional link between the clauses.

Though there is some similarity in the function and combinability of subordinate clauses and parts of the sentence, which is justly used as a criterion for the classification of clauses, we must not identify clauses and parts of simple sentences.

Apart from their having predications, clauses differ from parts of the simple sentence in some other respects, too.

a) Very often it is not the clause itself but the conjunction that defines its function and combinability. He speaks the truth may be a simple sentence, a coordinate or a subordinate clause, depending on the conjunction; and he speaks the truth is normally a coordinate clause, when he speaks the truth is often a subordinate clause of time, if he speaks the truth is mostly a subordinate clause of condition, etc.

Thus a conjunction is often a definite marker of a clause, which distinguishes such clauses from most English words having no markers. That probably accounts for the fact that clauses with such markers have a greater freedom of distribution than most parts of a simple sentence.

b) There is often no correlation between clauses and parts of simple sentences. I know that he is ill is correlated with I know that. I am afraid tint he is ill is not correlated with.

I am afraid that. I hope that he is well is not correlated with I hope that, etc.

The most important part of the sentence, the predicate, has no correlative type of clause.

Certain clauses have, as a matter of fact, no counterparts among the parts of the sentence.

E.g. I am a diplomat, aren't I? (Hemingway).

4. The Compound Sentence

The clauses of compound sentences are of equal rank, but usually the clause preceding the conjunction is regarded as the initial clause to which the other clause is related. These relations are mostly determined by the conjunction and are accordingly copulative, adversative, disjunctive, causal, resultative x (see 'Conjunctions').

As to clauses linked asyndetically, their relations are likewise of different nature, though, for the most part, copulative or causal-resultative, as in.

His eyes were bloodshot and heavy, his face a deadly white… (Dickens).

Next day his knee was badly swollen, his walking tour was obviously over. (Galsworthy).

The compound sentence usually describes events in their natural order, reflecting the march of events spoken of in the sequence of clauses.

E.g. He got the hitcher instead, and reached over, and drew in the end of the tow-line; and they made a loop in it, and put it over their mast, and then they tided up the sculls, and went and sat down in the stern, and lit their pipes. (J. Jerome).

Herein lies the great expressive force of the compound sentence. It is extensively used in colloquial speech and is often resorted to when events are described in a stately or impressive way.

5. The Complex Sentence

The principal clauses of complex sentences are usually not classified, though their meanings are not neutral with regard to the meanings of the subordinate clauses.

Cf. He will come because he needs your help.

He will come if he needs your help.

Two criteria are most often used in classifying the subordinate clauses of complex sentences: meaning and combinability. When he came is a clause of time according to the meaning imparted by when.

E.g. Wheti he came, it was already late.

But in the sentence I know when he came the same clause is considered objective owing to its subordination to the objective verb know.

There are two ways of using the criterion of combinability. Either subordinate clauses are classified in accordance with their relation to the word of the principal clause «they are attached to, or they are likened to some part of speech *with similar combinability… In the sentences When he came is ' of no importance, I remember when he came the combinability of the subordinate clause resembles that of a noun.

Cf. The fact is of no importance, I remember the fact.

Therefore the clause When he came is considered a noun-clause. If classified in accordance with its relation to the predicate verb, the first clause would be called a subject clause and the second an object clause.

Similarly in This is the man who wishes to see you the subordinate clause may be regarded as an adjective clause in accordance with its own combinability, or as an attributive clause, since its head-word is a noun.

Each of the criteria described has its advantages and disadvantages. But in syntax, it seems, the correlation with the parts of the sentence is preferable to the correlation v with the parts of speech. We shall therefore classify the subordinate clauses into groups parallel to the parts of the simple sentence. Accordingly we snail distinguish subject clauses, complement clauses (predicative, objective, and adverbial), attributive clauses, extension clauses and parenthetical clauses.

Subordinate clauses are connected with the principal clause by conjunctions, conjunctive and relative pro-nouns or asyndetically.

E.g. I have been thinking of Cambridge all through dinner, after (a conjunction) Martin had mentioned a friend of mine who (a relative pronoun) had been killed that spring. (Snow).

He seemed to be asking what (a conjunctive pronoun) was the matter with me. (lb.).

Mauntenay asked me if (a conjunction) / was satisfied with the way (asyndetic subordination) I have spent my life, (lb.).

In connection with the structure of the complex sentence and the means of subordination in it, it is necessary to dwell on the so-called 'sequence of tenses' which is often treated as a formal feature of the complex sentence, a device of subordination. The rule of the sequence of tenses is usually defined as follows: If the predicate verb of the principal clause is in the present or the future tense, the predicate verb of the subordinate clause may be used in any tense required by the sense. If the predicate verb of the principal clause is in the past tense, the verb of the subordinate clause must be used in the past tense too.

The regularity is supposed to be mostly or exclusively characteristic of object subordinate clauses.

From the point of view of Morphology, the so-called sequence of tenses is a morphological problem, not a syntactical one, inasmuch as the past tense forms in the subordinate clauses are used in accordance with the grammatical meanings they express. The following Russian example will help to see it.,

Я тебе все расскажу, когда приеду.

Here the predicate verbs in the principal and in the subordinate clause are both representatives of future tense grammemes. In the corresponding English sentence there would be a future tense verb only in the principal clause. I shall tell you everything when I come.

Now from the point of view of an Englishman the future tense in the Russian subordinate clause might be regarded as depending on the future tense of the principal clause, as a means of subordination, and a certain rule of the sequence of the future tenses in Russian might be formulated.

There is no need, however, to look for any syntactical explanation of the use of the future tense verb in the Russian subordinate clause. It is used there in accordance with its meaning since it denotes an action taking, place after the moment of speech.

What does need accounting for is the 'future tense' meaning of the present tense grammeme come in the English subordinate clause. Here we cannot do without 'syntax. We must state that in certain syntactical surroundings a present tense grammeme may acquire a 'future tense' meaning.

We may see something similar in the following two sentences.

He began to wonder what she was doing, how his children were getting along. (Dreiser).

Он стал задумываться над тем, что она поделывает, как живут его дети.

In the English sentence each 'past tense' verb refers to the past and is used in accordance with its tense meaning. So there is no need for any theory of the 'sequence of tenses' to account for their usage.

It is not so in the Russian sentence. The 'present tense' verbs поделывает and живут have acquired a 'past tense' meaning under the influence of the past tense of стал in the principal clause. So it is in the Russian sentence that subordination is also shown by the relation of the tense meanings in the subordinate clause to those in the principal one.

That the 'sequence of tenses' in English is not merely a formal device, the agreement of the tense in the subordinate clause with that of the principal clause, is proved by numerous deviations from the rules of sequence.

E.-g. Did she know that lam her father»? (Shaw). Yesterday he learned that he is not a member of the Council. (Daily Worker).

It published a cartoon designed to suggest that Mrs. Knight's teaching w ill land a young man in the dock. (lb.).

There is no agreement in tense in the examples given above simply because all the verbs are used in accordance with their tense meanings.

However, it cannot be denied that the clauses of a complex sentence are for the most part united by the same time background. Very often it is the tense of the principal clause that shows that background. The events mentioned in the subordinate clause may be presented as unfolding against that background, as valid or important for that period of time. Only in this sense can we speak of the accord of tenses in the complex sentence. This accord can be observed not only in complex sentences with object subordinate clauses, as stated by some linguists, but in complex sentences with various types of subordinate clauses:

That she knew of his weakness was not believed for a moment. (Braddon) (a subject clause).

What he meant was that he was sorry. (Dickens) (a subject and a predicative clause).

We were sure he would understand it when the time came round. (Daily Worker) (an extension clause, and an adverbial clause of time).

She was convinced he was failing in his duty as he did not possess a great reputation. (Black) (an object clause and an adverbial clause of cause).

They said I could apply for a second week if the doctor sent in a certificate. (Gilbert) (an object clause and an adverbial clause of condition).

Girl or no girl he did not want one that was not pretty. (Dreiser) (an attributive clause).

The mood of the predicate verb of a subordinate clause depends on the principal clause to a greater extent than its tense.

As noted, certain types of principal clauses are commonly correlated with the subjunctive mood in the subordinate clauses.

a) Clauses denoting subjective appraisal.

E. g. It is advisable that she be left in ignorance of the facts for a little while. (Stevenson).

It was essential that I should have a seat in the lower chamber. (Trollope). Incredible that she should never give him a chance to show that she had really loved him. (Galsworthy).

b) Clauses containing verbs and nouns denoting suggestion, demand, recommendation, insistence, perplexity, doubt, fear, anxiety, wish, etc.

He insisted that the boy remain in bed. (Cronin).

The demand that they should be forwarded to the company's office came at midnight. (The Worker).

At that moment she wished that she had not sent for him. (Eliot).

There is usually mood concord in conditional sentences.

E. g. If Savina were with him at this moment, his doubts and loneliness would evaporate. (Wilson). (Subjunctive, in both clauses.)

If she wanted to do anything better or move higher she must have more - a great deal more. (Dreiser). (Indicative, in both clauses.)

6. Types of Subordinate Clauses

Subject Clauses

The subject clause is the only one used in the function of a primary part of the sentence.

The peculiarity of the subject clause is its inalienability from the principal clause. Thus in the sentence What you mean is clear the subordinate clause What you mean is used as the subject. If it is cut off from the rest of the sentence, what remains (is clear) cannot be treated as a clause either in meaning or in structure. It is synsemantic 1 in the sense that it can be understood only in combination with its subordinate part.

Subject clauses are introduced by conjunctions (if, whether, that), conjunctive pro-nouns (who, which, what, whose, whichever, whoever, whatever, etc.) and pro-adverbs (how, when, where, why).

Why she left him is a mystery. (Jerome).

Complement Clauses

a) Predicative Clauses

The sentence The question is where he can be found consists of the principal clause the question is and the predicative clause where he can be found. The predicative complement, as usual, is at the same time the notional predicate.

Predicative clauses are introduced by the same conjunctions and pronouns as subject clauses. They are mostly attached to the link-verb to be in the principal clause, though they may occur with to look, to feel and some other links.

He felt as if something in him were collapsing. (Heym).

Each little household looked as though it were picnicking in its own back room. (Oxenham).

Predicative clauses sometimes function as objective predicatives, as in You'll make her what you like, she is pliable enough. (Braddon).

b) Object Clauses

They are introduced by the same conjunctions and connective pronouns as subject and predicative clauses. They are often joined to their principal clauses asyndetically.

Object subordinate clauses may be either prepositionless or prepositional.

Now tell me what happened at the meeting. (Shaw).

Cusins. Barbara: I am going to accept this offer.

Barbara: I thought you would. (lb.).

I was thinking of what the Third Reich had done and said so. (Snow).

An object clause (like an object in a simple sentence) may be preceded by the anticipatory object it as in I think it very significant that he refused to communicate with the Sheltons. (Braddon).

The usual place of an object clause ij after the principal clause, though it may be placed before the principal clause for the purpose of connecting two thoughts, the object clause denoting something familiar, mentioned previously, what we proceed from.

Why he declined that offer I can't tell. (Black).

Whether she had been wise in this she was utterly unable to decide. (Galsworthy).

c) Adverbial Clauses

Adverbial clauses serve to express a variety of adverbial relations and, consequently, they are introduced by» a great number of subordinating conjunctions. Asyndetic subordination is not typical of adverbial clauses (barring those of condition) since it is mainly the conjunction that differentiates one kind of adverbial clause from another.

Cf. When he was young… Though he was young… Because he was young…

Of the three types of adverbial complements - qualitative, quantitative and circumstantial - adverbial clauses mostly function as the last mentioned, as adverbials of situation or external conditions.

However, we take issue with L.S. Barkhudarov and D.A. Shteling over their statement that adverbial clauses are used exclusively as adverbial complements of external conditions.

The very examples they produce contradict this statement.

In the sentence Mike acted as though nothing had happened (Hemingway) the adverbial clause shows how he acted, in what manner he acted. Consequently, it shows the inner nature of the action, its quality.

The meaning of manner is mostly interwoven with that of comparison.

All hovels should serve it and love it as he did. (Randall).

Adverbial clauses may occupy different places in the complex sentence. They occur before their principal clause, after it, and even within it, which shows that the position of adverbial clauses (like that of adverbial complements in simple sentences) is less fixed and rigid than that of other subordinate clauses functioning as secondary parts.

E. g. I advise you, if you cherish your private life, not to let him frighten you. (Randall).

If he had glanced upwards, he would never have suspected that she was the grim bluestocking he awaited, (lb.).

You'll get along too if you take us as you find us. (lb.).

In accordance with their relations to the principal clause, mostly expressed by the conjunction or connective pronoun they are introduced by, adverbial clauses are classified into those of place (introduced by where, wherever), time (introduced by when, while, till, until, as, since, before, after, once, as soon as, etc.), cause (conjunctions - because, as, since) purpose (conjunctions - that, so that, in order that, lest), condition (conjunctions - if, in case, provided, unless, suppose, supposing), concession (conjunctions - though, although, as, conjunctive pronouns whatever, whoever, whichever), manner, or comparison (conjunctives-as if, as though).

He trudged doggedly on until he reached the flat. (Dreiser).

Because Carrie was pretty, the gentleman selected her photo, (lb.).

Madame Lamotte would see, if Annette didn't. (Galsworthy).

Though he was «the limit», he was yet her property. (lb.).

Attribute Clauses

Attributive clauses are postpositive adjuncts of nouns. They are commonly divided into relative and appositive clauses. Relative clauses are introduced by pronouns (or asyndetically). They are usually subdivided into restrictive and descriptive. The former serve to restrict the meaning of the antecedent, so that when the restrictive clause is left out, the sense of the sentence is seriously impaired.

I don't like girls who can't hold their tongues. (Black). Then we had that raid when Uncle Ned was killed. (Gilbert).

I know the stories you have been feeding him. (lb.).

Descriptive clauses serve to supply some additional information which does not restrict or specify the meaning of the antecedent.

E. g. The following day, which was Wednesday, we went to a solicitor. (Jerome).

What about dining at the Embassy at Chawley, where they still brewed beer. (Gilbert).

A variety of attributive clauses is the appositive clause, which formally differs from an attributive clause in being introduced by a conjunction (that, if, whether).

The awful fact that I might never have met her is rather appalling. (Openheim).

He married you for the romantic reason that he had fallen in love with yon. (Gilbert),

Appositive subordinate clauses mostly occur after abstract nouns such as idea, thought, feeling, fact, impression, reason, doubt, question, etc.

Extension Clauses

Extension clauses are postpositive adjuncts of adjectives, adverbs and adlinks.

E. g. It is indeed doubtful how he had become aware that Roger was being buried that day. (Galsworthy).

The subordinate clause is an extension of the adlink aware.

I am happy that everything went off so nicely.

The subordinate clause is an extension of the adjective happy.

She is so pretty that all our boys are mad about her. (Heyer).

The subordinate clause is an extension of the pro-adverb so.

His head was still in such a whirl that he felt confused. (Dreiser).

The subordinate clause is an extension of the pro-adjective such.

The subordinate clauses in the last two sentences have a distinct consecutive meaning, and may be called 'extensions of result' (instead of the traditional 'adverbial clauses of result').

Parenthetical Clauses

Most authors who do not regard parenthetical elements as parts of the sentence treat It is past ten, I think as a simple sentence. We do not find this view convincing.

1. If I think is not some part of the sentence, it must be regarded as an independent sentence. But it is not independent. Its intonation, position and meaning show that it is connected with It is past ten, to which it is appended and on which it depends.

2. The sentence discussed is not simple because it contains two predications. This becomes especially evident when we compare It is past ten, I think with I think it is past ten.

3. Since we regard parenthetical elements as parts of the sentence we must treat It is past ten, I think as a complex sentence, i.e. a sentence having one of its parts (parenthetical element) expressed by a clause (a parenthetical clause).

In most cases parenthetical clauses are introduced asyndetically, though now and again the conjunctions as, if, etc. are used.

He is, as I told you, their only son. (Dickens).

The happiness was a private, if you like, a happy one. (Snow).

Like parenthetical words and word-combinations they express the speaker's attitude towards the contents of the sentence or they show the relation of the given thought to some thought previously mentioned or to the source of information.

Nursing a wounded heart, he thought cynically, would not lead to happiness. (Randall).


In the conclusion of my work, I would like to say some words according the done investigation. The main research was written in the main part of my course paper. So here I'll give content of it with the description of question discussed in each paragraph.

The main part of my work consists of following items:

· «The Sentence». Here I gave the definition to the term sentence.

· «Classification of Sentences», in this paragraph different types of classification of English sentences are done.

· In the next five paragraphs «The Composite Sentence», «Compound Sentence», and «Complex Sentence» I described types of sentences in English due the classification according sentence structure. In paragraph «Types of Subordinate Clauses» I gave the definition to the different types of clauses.

Standing on such ground I will add that investigation in the questions dealt complex and compound sentences in English is not finished yet, so we will continue it while writing our qualification work.

I hope that my course paper will arise the sincere interest of students and teachers to the problem of adjectives in contemporary English.


1. B. Ilyish, The Structure of Modern English.

2. V.N. Zhigadlo, I.P. Ivanova, L.L. Iofik.» Modern English language» (Theoretical course grammar) Moscow, 1956 y.

3. Gordon E.M. The Use of adjectives in modern English.

4. М.М. Галииская. «Иностранные языки в высшей школе», вып. 3, М., 1964.

5. Г.Н. Воронцова. Очерки по грамматике английского языка. М., 1960

6. O. Jespersen. Essentials of English Grammar. N.Y., 1938

7. Иванова И.П., Бурлакова В.В., Почепцов Г.Г. Теоретическая грамматика современного английского языка. - М., 1981. - 285 c.

8. Ch. Barber. Linguistic change in Present-Day English. Edinburgh, 1964

9. The Structure of American English. New York, 1958.

10. World Book Encyclopedia Vol. 1 NY. 1993 pp. 298-299

11. Internet

12. Internet

13. Internet:

14. Inbternet:

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